The school year is over and I can predict the conversations that many churches are having about summer Sunday School/Children’s Liturgy during staff meetings now that we’re in the post-Easter era of the church calendar year. That conversation might go something like this:
Rector (R): So, what do we have planned for summer Sunday School/Children’s Liturgy?
Director of Christian Formation (DCF): Yah…we’re still trying to decide if we are going to offer something.
R: Okay – but we want to continue to offer something for our children during worship, because if we don’t, young families will just stop coming to worship during the summer.
DCF: Right – but even when we offer something – people don’t come. Or we might get 1-2 kids one week, 3 the next week, and none the week after that. Besides, our teachers need a break after teaching throughout the school year.
R: Okay – scratch that. Well, what are we going to do?
DCF: Honestly? I don’t know. We have the same conversation every year. The year that we decided to give teachers a break, which they deserved, and didn’t offer anything for children, some parents were concerned that there wasn’t anything for their kids to do. But then the next year, when we did offer a summer Sunday School program for children, our teachers got burned out. And then only little Jimmy would be there. And we all love little Jimmy…and little Jimmy loves this church – but that’s a hard place for a kid to be – the only kid there with the teachers? Who wants to be that kid?
R: Okay – great. So, what I hear you saying is that we ARE going to have summer Sunday School?
DCF: Ummm, let me get back to you on that.
Conversations like this happen so many times. And it’s not an easy one. I don’t think churches want to make program decisions that will cause kids and families to not want to come to worship in the summer. But it’s really hard to convince people to do summer Sunday School when you don’t know if people will be there or not, and it is often hard to find available Sunday School teachers for the summer.
So a church can decide to do nothing, and just accept the fact that they may see families less during the summer, or they can decide to put together a summer program, and then be frustrated when families don’t come and deal with frustrated teachers who have prepped lessons for no one.
This is why we are introducing a summer program for kids up through rising 6th graders. Children’s Liturgy will be on hiatus for the summer. As an alternative offering, we are providing Summer J.A.M. (Jesus And Me), starting June 3rd during the entirety of the 10:00 am service!!! Kids will meet in the Nursery for suitable movies that will provide insight to God, His love, and His word. We will also provide a light snack. Parents attending the service can drop off their children before the service begins and are asked to pick them up directly after the service. Please sign in your child, using the sign-in sheet just outside the door. Come and join in on the fun!